some of the noise you reference is probably due to my pp, but i'm sure it was there to start with, & the pp just amplified it. this camera was relatively new (around 5 months) but with very little usage. this was taken while on vacation to the pacific NW, & when i got back, i realized that there was some serious issues with the files & random excessive noise. & when i say excessive, i'm talking about almost obliterating the shot. so i have no doubt that it was generating noise on a number of shots where it is less visible but the pp would find it for sure.
i hadn't actually considered the noise factor for the challenge, but as long as it's there, if someone produces a better image than either of us, then we all can benefit.
i should also point out that if you look at the exif, the shot was taken @ ISO 1000. that was a mistake - i did not know that i was shooting at that ISO. however, this camera was supposed to be very strong at the higher ISOs w/ very little noise. the camera has since been sent in to canon to address the matter. they did find that something wasn't connected & made the repair.
you probably also noticed (don't know how you could miss it) that there were all kinds of dirt spots on the image. i thought they were sensor specs, & kept trying to clean the sensor. but no matter how much i cleaned, the specs were still there. i studied the lens, & all looked ok in that dept. however, i did some more serious checking after i satisfied myself that it was no longer the sensor & i got clean images w/ other lenses. then i KNEW it had to be this particular lens. it was very hard to see, but INSIDE the lens on the large end there was all kinds of crud. & this lens was purchased with the camera & had hardly been used. don't ask me how that stuff could have been in there from the point of manufacture, but it had to be. i sent the lens in w/ the camera, & canon took care of it.
so hopefully now, this kind of problem wouldn't occur again. i wonder if i could get canon to cover the cost of me going back
let's see what else is submitted. i agree that your blue is a tad stonger, but for the most part, it looks pretty much the same as mine, don'tchya think? hard to say for sure havoing to jump back & forth, but that's the way i am seeing it.